Water-based inks

In close cooperation with companies engineering inkjet printer systems, Agfa develops water-based inkjet inks for a wide range of applications.
Water Based Inks

These applications include:

  • Deco laminate printing (printing on décor )
  • Packaging printing (e.g. corrugated carton)
  • Document printing
  • Special applications

Why choose Agfa’s water-based inkjet inks?

  • Versatility: our water-based inks deliver high-quality prints for a range of applications. These include porous substrates, such as paper, corrugated boards, cardboard and cartons – with or without the use of a primer.
  • High performance: our aqueous inks allow outstanding image quality and color strength, especially when the ink is matched with the print system – allowing precise control of the inkjet drop placement.
  • Eco-friendliness: safe for the environment; recycling of printed material is mostly possible (when relevant, but to be proven case by case).
  • Health and safety: the ink compounds typically pose low safety risks, which make them suitable to print on food packaging.
  • Cost control: aqueous inks use a carrier comprising water and organic co-solvents, which are low-cost compounds. Depending on the other ink compounds (pigment, dispersion agent, binder) and the ink amount needed, aqueous inks can deliver attractive economic benefits.
Global Hands
Ink bottles

Why/When combine primer and ink?

  • The combination of primer and inkjet color ink jetted on top of the dried primer can deliver a breakthrough in image quality because of the drop control on the primer surface.
  • Applying primer also makes it possible to use the same ink set with equal image quality on multiple substrate types.
  • The combination of a low-cost analog primer with the inkjet ink set reduces the amount of color inks needed, and thus the total cost.
  • The synergy between primer and ink is important, which is why Agfa develops its own primers – dedicated to each application.

Deco laminate: printing on décor paper

  • Our ink sets for laminate applications use specific pigments to print wood grain designs with low metamerism and proven compatibility with the existing lamination production processes.
  • There are ink sets for both single-pass and multi-pass printing:
  • Single-pass high-speed printing (full width up to 2.25 m)
    • Ink set specifically developed for high speed (> 100 m/min) high-resolution single-pass printing with extreme jetting performance and color consistency
    • Perfect solution to replace gravure production printing
    • Ink set tunable to multiple types of print heads (throughflow heads preferred)
  • Multi-pass printing
    • Ink set specifically developed for multi-pass printing at high resolution, with high consistency
    • Ink set adjustable to multiple types of print heads
    • Ink set developed for a wide range of image designs
  • A primer can be used to improve the print quality on décor paper, and simultaneously results in lower inkjet ink consumption. It can be applied by a gravure roll at high speed. The dried layer is thin.
Wooden floor

Printing on corrugated packaging

  • Aqueous inks are well-suited for food packaging printing for a number of reasons:
    • Health & safety aspects of the ink formulations; lower risk of migration into the food
    • Low-cost ink formulations
    • Suited for printing on porous substrates
    • Recycling (de-inking) of the printed substrate is possible with existing technologies
  • The combination of an Agfa ink set and a primer – applied by a flexographic roll – maximizes image quality and color gamut, and achieves optimal print density at the lowest ink consumption.
  • For the highest performance, a commercial water-based overprint-varnish (OPV) can be applied. OPV defines the gloss level and protects the image (e.g. rub resistance, abrasion, adhesion, stacking, solvent resistance…)
  • Agfa focuses on the development of inks for printing on corrugated boards for packaging applications, including food packaging. The inks & primers are compliant with Swiss Ordinance list and Nestlé exclusive list, GMP manufactured.
  • The inks can be used to print on coated and uncoated liner material for corrugated boxes, but also to print directly to brown boxes.
  • Pigments are selected in view of acceptable light stability. During the ink design, the complete board production process is taken into account, including post-print and lamination steps.
  • The ink sets are tunable to multiple print head types for high-speed single-pass printing, as well as for multi-pass printing.

Agfa water-based inks – the next wave

Aqueous inkjet inks for industrial applications provide benefits in terms of ecology, cost-efficiency, and safety. We develop high-performance water-based inkjet inks for a wide range of applications, including laminate flooring and packaging. Take a peek in our labs…

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